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Research Project: Singapore Math: Solution for Problem Solving?

Research Project done for the University of Texas Arlington as part of the Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Matemathics.
by

Carlos Calderon

on 7 December 2012

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Transcript of Research Project: Singapore Math: Solution for Problem Solving?

Introduction United States ranked 29th in the world in students’ performance in problem solving in Math. Methodology Third grade students from a suburban, very diverse, Title I elementary school. Research Questions Results Process Survey for all the students (before and after)
Pre-test students with scores between 40% and 60% were selected
20 students instructed with the 4 step problem solving model (2 groups of 10 each)
20 students instructed with the 8 step drawing model for problem solving (2 groups of 10 each)
9 weeks of instruction 3 or 4 times a week for one hour a day
Post-test scores were compared between the control and the experimental group
Surveys were compared from before and after 1. What is the correlation between
using the 8 step drawing model and
understanding the problems? Singapore Math: Is This the Answer for Problem Solving in Math? In contrast, Asian countries like Singapore are at the very top of the ranking. US students use a 4 step problem solving model:

Understand the problem
Devise a plan
Carry out the plan
Looking back Singapore students use an 8 step model drawing:

Read the problem
Identify the "who"
Identify the "what"
Draw a unit bar
Place the question mark
Adjust the unit bars
Compute and solve
Write a complete sentence to answer the question 2. What would be the difference in test scores if we compare both models with American students? 3. How will the students react to problem solving in math after learning this new model? Control Group: Experimental Group: Survey
Pre-test
2 groups of 10 students each
9 weeks of instruction
Post-test
Survey 4 step problem
solving model 8 step model
drawing for problem
solving Both Groups: Comparing Scores From Pre-test and Post-test in both groups. Comparison Between Surveys Before and After the Intervention Pre-test scores are similar for both groups (columns in blue)
Post-test scores had a statistically significant increased of the means for the experimental group (columns in red) The averages for the pre-survey are all similar. Students had the same feelings about the problem solving model (columns in blue and red)
The averages for the post-survey in the control group does not show a significant increase. Students felt almost the same as at the beginning (columns in green)
The averages for the post-survey in the experimental group shows a significant increase. Students liked the new model more than at the begining (columns in purple) Conclusions Students felt that they understood better the word problems using the 8 step drawing model
There was a significant positive difference in the test scores for the students that learned the 8 step model drawing
The students that use the 8 step model drawing had a positive reaction about the new model Discussion Literature Review: US students used the 4 step model created by George Polya
Teachers are not prepared enough in the area of mathematics
American teachers tend to classify problem solving in four categories: Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division
Singapore students use an 8 step model drawing
Singapore makes problem solving the center of instruction
Pilot schools in the US had used the Singapore model with mixed results References: Lemke, M. International Outcomes of Learning in Mathematics and Problem Solving. 2003. US Dep. of Education.
Mullis, I. Trends in International Mathematics and Science Studies. 2007. Boston, MS
National Summit on the National Education of Teachers. 2001. Remarks by Liping Ma: Arithmetic in American Mathematics Education.
NCTM. 2010. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Problem Solving.
Taplin, M. Mathematics Through Problem Solving.
Institute of Sathya Sai Education. 2010
.......and more. Research Study by: Carlos Calderón Limitations: Implications: Recommendations for Future Research: Discussion of Results Very limited number of students
Limited number of interventionists
Not official assessments
Limited amount for training
Limited amount of time to implement the models A different problem solving model could be adapted to the American curriculum
It requires more than just the model but a whole educational system
Implementation should start in early school Larger scale
Longer period of time
Use released STAAR tests for assessments
Include subgroups in the studies
Implementation of the unit bar
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